The Wool Curtainby Polly Leonard
Office design has come on a long way from burlap walls, uniform grey cubicles and harsh fluorescent lighting. But Studio Plectere by Petra Vonk is going way beyond ordinary expectations for office space with their oversized knitted structures, which serve not only as striking aesthetic features, but also as dividers and acoustic panelling. They are a response to a growing trend for open-plan offices with work pods and modular meeting rooms.
These 3D structures are made from thick strips of woollen felt and are the latest development of Vonk's ongoing experiments with oversized knitting techniques and exploring unusual materials. The thick wool felt allows for the creation of versatile structures that are much more stable than expected for a knitted object. Instead of breaking up office space in a clunky, blocky way, the structures create a flexible, semi-transparent screen that allows the passage of light through. The felt, which absorbs both high and low-frequency sound waves, also allows the structure to be used as an noise-absorbing acoustic panel. The giant knitted curtains can be made in different sizes and colours, depending on the requirements of the space.
The Plectere studio was established in 1990 after Petra Vonk graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven. At first, she worked in fashion as a textile designer. However, the pace and wastefulness of the fashion industry frustrated her so she turned instead to interior and architectural design, with a focus on textiles. Plectere's goal is now to improve the wellbeing of spaces through thoughtful and intriguing large-scale textile design.